February 6, 2018
As we enter February, we're pleased to have a continuing flow of positive news to share with you. We lead this edition of Good NewsLink with an article highlighting that Scott Air Force Base has been cited as one of the best places to be stationed while serving in the Air Force by a national military news website. While those of us here in Scott country regularly hear that from our friends and colleagues at Scott AFB, it's nice to have that message echoed at the national level. The special relationship that the communities around the base have with Scott is a key contributor to the favorable ranking, and also has played a major role in our ability to capture the coveted Abilene Trophy twice in recent years in recognition of the wonderful support that exists here for the airmen and their families. In the coming days we'll be submitting our application for 2017, and we are hopeful that we'll be bringing the Abilene Trophy back to Southwestern Illinois once more.

Be sure to also check out the article from Industry Week, which highlights that while manufacturers take into account a variety of factors for locating plants or warehouses-location, infrastructure, business-friendly climate-the available workforce is now front and center. That's something we understand here in the Metro East, and while we've been recognized for our ability to meet the workforce needs of industry giants such as Amazon, we're also working to address future needs through our Manufacture/Craft Your Future initiative, and through various innovative programs at area schools and colleges you can read about below.

You'll also find links to positive news related to the tourism industry, investments being made in the residential sector and the utilities industry, and much more.

Have a great week!
Ronda Sauget, D. Mgmt, MBA
Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois

Scott Air Force Base is one of the best places to be stationed, military news site says
(1/23/18, Belleville News Democrat)
Scott Air Force Base was named the second-best place at which to be stationed while serving in the Air Force by a national military news website.   Air Force Times said Scott Air Force Base "fits whatever lifestyle you have" because of the base's proximity to the city of St. Louis, as well as quiet suburban living. (Read More)

Edwardsville City Council approves resolution for Whispering Heights development
(1/16/18, River Bender)
Edwardsville City Council recently voted in favor of approving a resolution authorizing the Whispering Heights planned unit development (PUD) plan.  The plan will include the addition of two buildings on lots one and two of the Enclave subdivision, adjacent to Lincoln Middle School.  (Read More)

Marquette Catholic High School to build STEM Center in Millers building
(1/24/18, Illinois Business Journal)
Marquette Catholic High School on Tuesday announced plans for a $1.6 million expansion -- a new STEM Center that will be built on the ground floor of the former Millers Mutual Building next door.   (Read More)

Ameren unveils new operations center in East St. Louis
(1/29/18, The Telegraph)
EAST ST. LOUIS - Ameren Illinois unveiled its newly renovated 29,000-square-foot East St. Louis Operating Center on Friday, demonstrating the company's commitment to strengthening its operations in the Metro East. (Read More)

Alton regional tourism provides millions in tax revenue, thousands of FT jobs
(1/20/18, The Telegraph)
There is more to tourism than just bringing people to the area for a nice visit.  That was one of the main messages at the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau's recent 14th annual Tourism Summit, held at Best Western Premier Alton-St. Louis Area Hotel on College Avenue. (Read More)

Talent Key Driver for Manufacturing Site Selection
(1/22/2018, Industry Week)
"The number one concern across every industry is the ability to find qualified labor," explains Dennis Donovan, principal, WDG Consulting. "The shortage is pervasive and extends to all positions." (Read More)

Gateway Motorsports Park's Verizon IndyCar Series race helps park win award
(1/17/18, The Telegraph)
Gateway Motorsports Park received the prestigious and coveted 2017 Spirit of St. Louis Award for its inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series race, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500. (Read More )

Air Mobility: A clear need for future environments
(1/21/18, Air Force Times)
As future defense environments are forecast and defense budgets unfold, the nation's demands for mobility capability will trend upward, if 2017 is a predictive guide.In any future environment, a robust mobility capability will be required; the versatility it offers as an instrument of national power is foundational to military, diplomatic and even economic success. ( Read More )

Alton moves toward setting up TIF for Alton Square redevelopment project
(1/25/18, The Telegraph)
City officials took another step Wednesday in the process to implement the Alton Square Tax Increment Financing Redevelopment Project Area to pay for improvements at the mall. ( Read More )

I-270 river bridge replacement needs funding, but planning still goes on
(1/26/18, Illinois Business Journal)
What drivers need to know about plans to build a new Interstate 270 Bridge across the Mississippi River comes down to two things: There's no money scheduled to build it, and construction start is at least two years away. ( Read More )

Big reception welcomes 'Small Business Revolution - Main Street' crew to Alton
(1/19/18, The Telegraph)
The city keeps getting one step closer to making its hopeful reality show debut.
Reality program "Small Business Revolution - Main Street's" crew arrived at Old Bakery Beer Co. in Alton Thursday night to a raucous public reception of at least 300 supporters, including community leaders, business owners and employees, residents, elected officials, nonprofit founders and anyone rooting for the city to become the winning town featured in Deluxe Corp.'s web-based reality show.( Read More )

SIUE and Kaskaskia College partner on nursing degree track
(1/25/18 RiverBender)
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SIUE SON) and Kaskaskia College have announced a new partnership. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree track enables community college students to rapidly achieve their baccalaureate degree from the SIUE SON after attending Kaskaskia to complete an associate degree and the majority of their general education requirements. ( Read More )

SIUE's sixth annual 'Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day' set for Feb. 17
(1/26/18, The Telegraph)
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is hosting its sixth annual "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, in the SIUE School of Engineering building. ( Read More)

SIUE diversity plan will focus on enrollment of underrepresented students
(1/19/18, Illinois Business Journal)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has introduced long-range diversity and inclusion goals that focus on retention and enrollment growth of underrepresented students. Another key focal point for SIUE is attracting and retaining faculty and staff from underrepresented groups. ( Read More )

Reading superheroes: New Jerseyville programs aims to accelerate kids
(1/21/18, The Telegraph)
JERSEYVILLE - East Elementary School is piloting a new program designed to give grade-school students individual attention as they learn to read. The program, which pairs students with a volunteer who helps the child work through age-appropriate books, is slated to begin before the end of the month, according to Principal Kim Anderson. (Read More)

Memorial's Family Care Birthing Center receives perinatal quality award
(Illinois Business Journal)
The Family Care Birthing Center at Memorial Belleville was recognized as one of the top 105 birthing hospitals participating in the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative for their help in a statewide project on maternal hypertension. (Read More)

NSF funds SIUE project to boost minority female interest in STEM+C
(1/24/18, The Telegraph)
EDWARDSVILLE - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $846,416 to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to launch programming that will integrate computational thinking (CT) in after-school, student-centered learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to strengthen minority girls' learning, and potentially alter career intentions and preparation.( Read More)

Become Inspired: Public Invited to Explore Top Research and Creative Activities Featured at SIUE Showcase
(1/24/18, SIUE News)
Outstanding research and creative activities are featured annually during Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Undergraduate Scholars Showcase. The public is invited to attend this year's event being held from 2-4 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in the Morris University Center.  (Read More)

December unemployment in Metro East, other areas lowest since 2006
(The Alton Telegraph, 1/27/18)
SPRINGFIELD - Unemployment dropped to 4.3 percent in December in the Metro East, mirroring a statewide trend, according to recent statistics from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. 
Statewide, the rate remained near 4.7 percent. ( Read More )